Dr.SSA Giada Frontino

Dr. Giada Frontino

Dr.SSA Giada Frontino
GINECOLOGA ITALIANA A LONDRA

Dr. Giada Frontino
Consultant Gynaecologist

English (UK)
Italiano
English (UK)

Dr. Giada Frontino
Consultant Gynaecologist

Dr.ssa Giada Frontino
ginecologa italiana a londra

English (UK)
Italiano
English (UK)

Is the cervical smear painful?

What is a cervical smear?

A cervical smear, or HPV test, is a simple and non-invasive test that shows us important information about the health of the cervix, which is a vulnerable part of the uterus (womb). The smear looks for HPV (Human Papillomavirus) in your cervix. HPVs are a large group of a very widespread sexually-transmitted virus. Some HPVs only cause warts (condylomata) whereas others can cause abnormal changes to the cells of the cervix. These abnormal changes mean that the cells of the cervix start becoming inflamed and may gradually turn inflammation into cervical cancer. There are actually no symptoms when the cervix is inflamed, so cervical cancer can develop silently without showing up with any bleeding or pain until it is in its late stages of the disease.


Why should you have the smear done every three years?


Simply because cervical cancer is still too common and could be easily avoided by having regular checkups from age 24. Booking a cervical smear every three years will certainly flag up the earliest stages of inflammation, well before cervical cancer can develop. Having your smear regularly is a simple way of keeping your health in check and the worries away. You can start booking a smear from age 24 onwards to benefit the most from this important preventative test.


Is the smear painful?


The smear is not painful—the two utensils used are a small soft silicone brush and a small vaginal dilator that is inserted just like a tampax.The dilator is called a speculum, which is usually transparent and is inserted with some lubricant gel that may feel cold. The insertion feels like a smooth gel-coated tampax, and takes only a few seconds. As the dilator is inserted, the soft brush is used to gently brush inside the vagina where the cervix is. This all takes less than 3 minutes. Most women feel embarrassed and slightly anxious about the procedure, but feel no pain. If you feel you prefer that the Nurse or Doctor who will do your smear is a female, please do say so and request this when you book with your GP.


Why have you felt pain during the smear and how can you make sure you don’t feel any pain during your next smear?


Although the size of the vagina does not change over the years, in some cases there can be decreased lubrication or a vaginal infection or thrush, so it’s always helpful to have a preliminary call with your GP or nurse to let them know of any dryness and discomfort in order to allow them to make the test comfortable for you.

All GP practices are equipped with small-sized ones (literally the width of a small tampax), so make sure you pre-book this for your appointment.


Here are some tips on how to have a painless cervical smear in menopause


When you book your appointment, ask the Nurse that you wish a small-sized speculum to be used. This allows the Practice to order them if they don’t have them in stock.

You can also ask to be prescribed estrogen vaginal gel for two weeks prior to your cervical smear. This should be stopped three days before your appointment. The oestrogen vaginal cream can be applied daily until then and will significantly improve natural lubrication and make the cervical smear sampling smoother.

On the day of the appointment, please remind the Nurse to use lubricant so that the speculum insertion is easy and causes no friction.

If you have a disability, have experienced trauma, abuse or female genital mutilation, please ask your GP to be referred to a Specialist Vulva clinic in order to have the cervical smear done with no pain and in the most comfortable setting.

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